The weather has settled down and is more or less normal for this time of year and the gardens are responding with wild abandon. Leaves and flowers are budding, the birds are getting frisky and butterflies, bees and other insects are visiting the flowers.
Today I planted Blue Lake and Kentucky Wonder green beans to go with the Asparagus Beans I planted last week. I also planted the following chiles: Costeno Amarillo, Red Bell, Datil, Cubanelle, Aji Limon and Chiltepin.
The fruit trees and grape vines are really looking good, but the Anna and Ein Shemer apples aren't on the same bloom schedule even though I planted the Ein Shemer specifically to cross-pollinate the Anna. The Ein Shemer is just now blooming and the Anna is already at the stage where I'm culling the fruits to increase the mature size.
|Anna apples after being culled.|
|Ein Shemer blooms about to open.|
|Nectarine blossom being visited by a honeybee.|
|Hopefully this nectarine will reach full size.|
|The grapevines are loaded with the beginnings of fruit clusters.|
|The Eureka lemon is blooming and there's still a chance I'll get fruit this year.|
The flowers have been showing their appreciation for the nice weather as well, with healthy growth and even some blooms. Last year's hollyhock has done more than survive, it's thrived and on the 18th was nearly 5' tall with 12 flower stalks; today it's 6' tall and the first flowers have opened, though they're hard to see as they're lower on the stalks and hidden among the leaves.
|First hollyhock blooms of the year.|
The salvias have recovered from the freeze; the red salvia is already in bloom and the blue, Salvia nemorosa, has buds the should open tomorrow or the day after.
|Red salvia growing in the rose garden.|
|Salvia nemorosa ready to bloom.|
A couple of the succulents in the wheelbarrow garden have decided to bloom as well, one of them being the basketball plant, Euphobia obesa, which it turns out has male and female plants, with mine being female. I'm trying to find more specimens in the hope of getting at least one male plant.
|Euphobia obesa in bloom.|
|Another succulent bloom.|
The rosemary, moss rose and petunias all self-sowed last year and seedlings are beginning to grow. I planted some poppy seeds provided by my friend Marie Niemann and noticed today that they've started to sprout.
|Poppies coming up.|
I also managed to get one of the amaryllis seeds to sprout and it's been planted in a small pot in my office where I can baby it for the next three years until it blooms.
The ginger I planted from a piece I bought at the oriental market last year is starting to come out of it's slumber, the glads are now over a foot tall and the planter with the lavender and petunias is filling out nicely.
|Ginger is greening up.|
|Glads are reaching for the sky.|
|Spanish lavender and petunias|
|Ashy Gray Ladybug, Olla v-nigrum.|